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What to Look for When Buying a Used Mac Computer

By August 17, 2015How To, Sales

As many will agree, Mac is a very reliable and sustainable brand of computer. This is reflected in their unwavering popularity and, more obviously, in their price. Unfortunately, the price of a new Mac can be out of reach for some, especially if they are replacing a computer unexpectedly. Thankfully, there are plenty of available used Macs on the market that can still offer the user dependability without breaking the bank.
Mac Enthusiasts, specifically, is proud to offer a reliable fleet of refurbished/ used Macs for purchase. You can check out our general offerings and pricing in store or here on our webstore. Whether you are purchasing a refurbished Mac from us or from somewhere else, we want Mac users to be informed. Be wary of scams and make sure you know enough about your new computer before you pay for it. Here are some ways you can test your new/ used Mac to make sure you are buying a reliable system:

Know what kind of Mac you’re getting, and the real condition: Basic computer specs can be found by selecting “About this Mac” in the Apple main menu. Here you will automatically be shown what type of Mac you have, the Operating System, the serial number, and information on graphics, processor, and memory. Make sure this information aligns with what you’re looking for and what the seller claimed about this particular system. Also, you can take your serial number to checkcoverage.apple.com to find out if there’s any AppleCare left on that system.
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It’s also helpful to learn about the battery life on your new used Mac. From “About This Mac” select “System Report”. By selecting “Power” on the left, you can see battery specs like the cycle count and battery condition. Any condition on a battery worse than “normal” may mean you will need to replace the battery sooner than later. It’s important to keep this in mind when calculating your overall cost.

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Test the hardware: There are many physical features on a Mac computer to be tested. Some simple actions you can take to cover your bases include: playing a video online to make sure that the sound and graphics card are working, opening photo booth to make sure the webcam is working, typing up a quick document to make sure all of the keys working, and recording some audio in Quicktime to make sure the microphone is working.
If you want to be extra diligent, you can bring some external devices to aid your testing. Some examples of hardware you can use to test your used Mac (depending on its capabilities) are: USB drive, DVD, SD card, headphones, ethernet cord, etc. If there’s a port for it, it can be tested!

Restart the computer, run diagnostics: Another great test of functionality of a Mac can be done when starting up the device. You will need to be connected to the internet to run this diagnostics test. When starting up the Mac, you can press the “D” key to begin running the Apple Hardware Test. Follow the menu guide to run a hardware test of the Mac. You will have the option to either run a basic systems or a most lengthy extended test. For earlier Macs, this can be ran with a disk that originally came with the Mac.
In Macs newer than June 2013, the Apple Diagnostics test will look a little different. You will still start the test by pressing “D” upon start up, but instead of choosing a type of test to run, Apple will automatically run a system test for you. At the end you will be shown either “no errors” were found, or a list of issues will pop up, along with a resources to repairing said issues.
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If you’re not sure where to look for a reliable used Mac computer, try checking out Mac Enthusiast’s collection of refurbished and used Macs for sale. We’ll work with you to find the best Mac for your price range and make sure you feel 100% comfortable with the computer you’re taking home. Feel free to come in, call us at (800) 448-1892, or contact us here for any questions you may have.

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